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Build Your Own Cuban Linx II


Raekwon – “Blue Eagles

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Raekwon – “Cuban Chronicles

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Raekwon – “Kids Thats Rich

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Raekwon – “State Of Grace

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Raekwon – “My Corner

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Raekwon – “The G Hide

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Raekwon f/ Ghostface Killah – “Wu Ooh

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from Cuban Linx II? (Coming Soon)

If Detox is the hip hop Chinese Democracy then Cuban II is our Smile, existing only in idea fragments and false starts. Remember when Dre was going to produce the bulk of it? remember when Deck was going to fill in for Ghost’s supporting role? Here are some of the stronger could be Cubans from the Raekwon humidor on my external hard drive. It has been four years of these slow leaks and speculation. For reference, that’s the same amount of time between the original Cuban and Immobilarity.

An aside: a few years ago I was in a New York McDonalds and woman kept yelling at her son, Raekwon. I imagine this is a relatively common name in the tri-state area, no? At least relative to the number of kids named Jeru or Pete Rock or whatever.

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43 Responses to “Build Your Own Cuban Linx II”

  1. Tray Says:

    It does seem like it is coming, though. And I think Wu Ohh is a lot better than anything on Smile, even Good Vibrations (as cheesy as it’s great) or Surf’s Up (beautiful song but crappiest pretentious rock lyrics ever), or Heroes and Villains, which really suffers from the trite little breakdown a minute into the song. Okay, Surf’s Up is probably way more important than Wu Ohh but it’s pretty flawed. The analogy I would make between the two is that they’re both sequels to major classics that aren’t/probably won’t be that great.

  2. EWOULDBLOCK Says:

    How you gonna front on “Our Prayer” like that, Tray?

  3. flycliches Says:

    i attended an elementary school graduation in springfield mass. over the summer (i had to be there for work) and there was a kid named raekwon wearing a pretty sick pinstriped suit who graduated.
    some of these joints are okay, “wu ooh” is actually pretty great, but even the song i like are mostly good for the beat or the guest spots. i can’t think of a raekwon verse i’ve heard since like supreme clientele where he doesn’t just sound tired as hell, just absolutely dead. that said, i also liked that song baggage handlers that came out in like 2005 i think, but nobody seems to be mentioning it in their cuban linx II posts.

  4. Jay (d)eff Kay Says:

    Interesting anology. So I’m assuming you’re optimistic? – Coz, correct me if I’m wrong but when Brian Wilson finally did release Smile, it was met with much fanfare. faaaar from a failure.

    But I dunno, quality control is good and all, but these rappers need to own the moment. Coz Rae is moving further and further away from it. I’m getting annoyed. My expectations were already waay to high 5 years ago. Dude needs to move his increasingly fat ass (insert immobilarity joke here) and release something already. Why can’t he just do what you just did and compile the strongest of his teasers?

  5. duncan Says:

    “Wu Ooh” gets my teary eyed oof

  6. Tray Says:

    I mean, “Our Prayer” is pretty in a “Brian and Carl were eunuchs with amazing voices” way, but isn’t it just basically a lyric-less background vocal? Anyway, I think an album is coming, and it will have 3 or 4 really good songs and 14 decent but ultimately forgettable, 9 Diagrams-grade ones.

  7. er4se Says:

    rae is just fuckin w/ everybody… hes on some joaquin phoenix shit… gonna start acting on broadway…

  8. noz Says:

    “Interesting anology. So I’m assuming you’re optimistic? – Coz, correct me if I’m wrong but when Brian Wilson finally did release Smile, it was met with much fanfare. faaaar from a failure.”

    Well it was also about 30 years late…

    So we’ll see.

  9. noz Says:

    “i can’t think of a raekwon verse i’ve heard since like supreme clientele where he doesn’t just sound tired as hell, just absolutely dead.”

    He sounds great in small doses – “royal flush,” the song on busta’s last album. but gets exhausting when he’s allowed to ramble for three or four minutes. i think that’s why the strongest of these cuts are either one verse shots (“blue eagles”) or feature heavy (“wu ooh”).

  10. noz Says:

    Then again, when has Rae ever been a great solo rapper? He always seemed best suited for counterpoint/tag team shit.

  11. jordan s Says:

    i like “criminology 2″ a lot

  12. g@grandgood.com Says:

    so maybe one of yall can confirm if rza really did produce Wu Ooh?

    if so, im glad rae decided to shoot a video for it. maybe it will lead to more collabo for cbII

  13. Aqua Says:

    No love for “Baggage Handlers”? Recycled Dilla but still fresh. Nothing to crazy in the flow but it fits the OB4CL vibe…

  14. TSF Says:

    “Then again, when has Rae ever been a great solo rapper? He always seemed best suited for counterpoint/tag team shit.”

    Couldn’t agree more! Ironman and OB4CL were AMAZING collabo albums, but Ghost can handle his own while Rae can’t. “Sneakers” was dope tho.

  15. walkmasterflex Says:

    “Then again, when has Rae ever been a great solo rapper? He always seemed best suited for counterpoint/tag team shit.”

    speaking of this the version of “state of grace” feat. busta rhymes is fucking awesome. i like the original but busta adds a level of urgency and energy to the track that’s offset well by raekwon’s more blunted voice. i wish i still had my copy of it: noz, you holdin?

  16. Chef Rae Says:

    Hmmm, I mean Raekwon is going in hard on twitter. Of course he doesn’t really seem to know how to use. Borderline retarded. But to me that is a sure sign that this shit is dropping quick fast. up yours.

  17. TSF Says:

    Also, Noz were you at that Mickey D’s on 5th Ave? That is hands down the nicest fast food restaurant I’ve ever eaten at (could been that I was faded on some delivery kill at the time, but fo rilla, they served us and shit!).

  18. no Says:

    Raekwon rolling around in flour for a photo shoot

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  19. Sean Says:

    “Blue Eagles” is my favorite song of the decade and it’s not finished. Also, “Treasurers,” “Baggage Handlers,” and “Heroin Only” sound incredible. This album is never coming out.

  20. dronkmunk Says:

    badiddles

  21. E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA Says:

    it’ll get released this year and it’ll be an ok album but half the internets will proclaim it to be trash and the other hal will say it’s the greatest thing ever

  22. no Says:

    What I wonder is this- when Rae was runnin around saying it was done way back when he was still down with Dre right? Did he have to leave a chunk of it behind? Start over? I wonder.. Not only is Dre notorious for shelving projects, but the thing is they never leak and people don’t generally seem able to take that material with them. If it was some immobilarity shit it’d be whatever but the fact that blue eagles could be three verses kinda kills me.

  23. E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA Says:

    What I wonder is this- when Rae was runnin around saying it was done way back when he was still down with Dre right? Did he have to leave a chunk of it behind? Start over? I wonder.. Not only is Dre notorious for shelving projects, but the thing is they never leak and people don’t generally seem able to take that material with them. If it was some immobilarity shit it’d be whatever but the fact that blue eagles could be three verses kinda kills me.
    ^^^^
    King T and Hittman’s albums eventually leaked

  24. EWOULDBLOCK Says:

    Tray, you’re so literal it hurts my brain. But to give you a straight answer, “Our Prayer” is perfect music because it’s anti-rap: no drums, no beat, no lyrics, just 2 minutes of sentimental harmony. It could only be better if it were followed by, say, 45 minutes of Boards of Canada instead of 45 minutes of Brian Wilson tilting at teen-age symphony and coming off pedophiliac.

  25. EWOULDBLOCK Says:

    And speaking of perfect music, I love Rae but he done made “The Watch” already so he’s always be Ghost’s rollie to me.

  26. Pepys Says:

    What about ‘Jihad’? That was a great track – though Ghost totally outshone Rae again on it.

  27. Pepys Says:

    Forget what I just said, I just realised it’s listed as G-Hide.

  28. word life Says:

    I just wanted to add that I saw Raekwon live in Chicago in 2004 or 2005, where he was decent at best. There was some unintended hilarity: he chose to perform “Verbal Intercourse,” one of my all-time favorite cuts… and only did Nas’s verse.

    Which led me to wonder if he wasn’t going to segue into “Method Man” at some point… alas, he never did.

  29. Enigmatik Says:

    :-)

    http://www.bgdboom.com/2008/12/bgdb-presents-only-built-4-cuban-linx.html

    :-)

  30. Tray Says:

    Look, if “Our Prayer” were the only thing they ever did, it would be perfect, but they also made God Only Knows and a lot of other crap where their gorgeous harmonizing is actually in service of something. So to me, it’s just a great background vocal. As for the rest of the album, I don’t see how he comes off as pedophiliac so much as he comes off as half-baked and overreaching, as is usually the case when you set out to make a concept album chronicling the history of America from the Pilgrims on.

  31. noz Says:

    OMG WHAT IF RAE RAPPED OVER “OUR PRAYER”

  32. STEVE Says:

    that pete rock joint is insane.

  33. Abe Beame Says:

    Nah it’s more like a Ghost sample.

  34. EWOULDBLOCK Says:

    Way to turn all Raekwon threads turn into Ghostface threads, internet.

  35. SAJR Says:

    Nice post Dude. I did a similar one a couple of weeks ago with some other tunes included check it out
    http://hiphopandbreakz.blogspot.com/2009/02/is-cuban-linx-2-finally-on-its-way.html

  36. d. b. cooper Says:

    Quick theory:

    The people who say Ghost is better than Rae or Ghost outshines Rae all the time are the same people who voted for W. twice.

  37. d. b. cooper Says:

    Also, Fly Shawty Penelope is a dope track in a Nas – Lost Tapes type of way.

  38. XXLmag.com - » Cuban Linx II: Should we give a shit? Says:

    [...] I figured I might take a look at this collection of joints that may or may not end up on Cuban Linx II, put together by Noz, another fallen soldier here at [...]

  39. Thaddeus Clark Says:

    That “Wu Ooh” is special.

  40. Supreme Neck Protector Says:

    “Ghost is better than Rae”

    As a general rule of thumb, this is true.

    “Ghost outshines Rae all the time”

    This is emphatically not.

  41. Supreme Neck Protector Says:

    Raekwon was so sluggish on “Royal Flush” that it killed that song’s replay value in my view. Really I woulda been content with two more Fat Sacks verses just like that one. That was some RAPPIN’.

    But generally speaking I don’t feel he’s declined as a lyricist at all, and he’s still as interesting to listen to as ever. I love the gruff, grizzled rambling. He comes correct on that excellent remix of “Renaissance Rap” from the Q-Tip record. Bus-A-Bus and Weezy also.

  42. Nighttime Vultures. « VNV Says:

    [...] NORTH STAR [...]

  43. dronkmunk Says:

    Can’t believe “Blue Eagles” didn’t make it..

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